a dream come true

            As I stepped into Vandana’s house, I was surrounded with the most beautiful architecture, natural light spread throughout. My feet embraced the cold stone floors while the sweat disappeared from my forehead, blown away by the powerful fan. She greets us, gives us a brief tour of her home and then brings us to a room filled with her stunning artwork. Each piece consists of a positive quote and a powerful background. My eyes are drawn to one piece in particular, reading, “Dear me, I’ll make you proud one day.” I keep returning to look at the piece, so I tell Mr. Mundra how powerful it is to me, thinking of no more than to share some positivity. Vandana then brings us to her living room, gives us fresh watermelon juice and delicious food and speaks to us. She tells us about her Dream Foundation and then turns to me and asks me to name one of my dreams. I tell her I want to meet and learn from amazing architects, to which she responds by telling me she is the architect of the beautiful home I am sitting in. Ooh’s and Ah’s fill the room, but more than that, Vandana just made a dream come true. We continue talking and I can’t divert my attention from this amazing women. At the end of the discussion, as we get up to leave, I ask her where we could find her artwork to buy. She tells me that we should all go up and select a piece, something that she had said earlier, and again, we refuse with smiles all around. Everyone keeps talking, while Vandana and Mr. Mundra slip out briefly. When they return, Vandana has a canvas in her hand and she presents it to me. I mutter the quote on the canvas, “Dear me, I’ll make you proud one day.”

            Vandana, a CEO, an architect, an artist, an intellect, just handed me more than a canvas. This gift means so much more to me than a piece to hang on my bedroom wall. The absolute kindness that this complete stranger just showed me was so shocking to me that I couldn’t help but cry. She had gone out of her way to pick out the piece that I had seen earlier, with a quote that coursed my veins, and presented it to me herself. All I have experienced thus far in India is the feeling of being welcome, of being loved, but this moment was something more than that. This was a moment where a woman who I had just met wanted to see me smile. She wanted us to be happy even though we hadn’t done anything for her. Vandana started out our interaction by literally making one of my dreams come true, and ended it with an expression of absolute love and kindness. She told us earlier that she spends 30-40 minutes on each piece and they generally cost $25. Although I was given this piece of art for free, I wonder if Vandana will ever understand how priceless it is for me. This artwork, this quote, is the physical manifestation of all I have experienced thus far in India. Every time I look at this quote, I will be reminded of more than the words themselves. I will be reminded of the kindness and the feeling of being welcome that Vandana showed me, that Ahmedabad has shown me.

            Although the gesture itself was the most incredible and meaningful moment of my journey thus far, the quote also speaks to my experience here in India so far. We have spoken a lot about our personal journey’s and finding our purpose, and I think this quote is a perfect summary for my interpretation of that. I will make myself proud one day and I am on that journey right now. Each and everyday here I am working to improve my life, myself and I am furthering my personal journey. This moment with Vandana was a big moment in my personal journey and I cannot express my gratitude towards her enough, although I know that’s not why she did it. Vandana started and managed all of these foundations because she is genuinely good. This is a new experience for me, seeing such absolute goodness in people. I also saw one of Vandana’s quotes at the Ghandi Ashram and I will end my post with it. No expectations, just to read. “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”